Protesters gather for a heavily-guarded annual march

Protesters gather for a heavily-guarded annual march

athena The Independent: — More than 5,000 police officers were deployed in Athens to maintain order as thousands gathered in the Greek capital on Wednesday for a rally marking the anniversary of the bloody uprising against the dictatorship.

The annual march to the US Embassy has often been marred by violence in previous years, where groups of anarchist protesters have attacked the police. The event continued on Wednesday despite restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic.

In 1973, student-led pro-democracy demonstrations at Athens Polytechnic, a university in the center of the capital, saw police use of force. Officers opened fire on unarmed protesters near the Polytechnic, and a military tank crashed into the gates of the complex, behind which many students were gathering.

At least 20 are believed to have been killed, although the exact number of dead in the November 1973 events remains unknown. A year later, a military dictatorship in power since 1967 collapsed, although the dictators were replaced by a more hardline military regime.

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Most left-wing protesters have marched to the US Embassy every year since 1974 because Washington was seen as supportive of the far-right military regime.

In a tweet Wednesday, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the uprising reinforced the country’s “daily commitment to a secure democracy”.

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